Dr. Jung Fails in Drawing a Goat as a child

[Carl Jung on if what he was doing was “Art.” Oh, incidentally as a child Dr. Jung failed his “Drawing Class.”]

While Jung was writing in Black Book 2, I said to myself “What is this I am doing, it certainly is not science, what is it?”

Then a voice said to me, “That is art.”

This made the strangest sort of impression upon me, because it was not in any sense my impression that what I was writing was art.

Then I came to this, “Perhaps my unconscious is forming a personality that is not 1, but which is insisting on coming through to expression.”

I don’t know why exactly, but I knew to a certainty that the voice that had said my writing was art had come from a woman … Well I said very emphatically to this voice that what I was doing was not art, and I felt a great resistance grow up within me.

No voice came” through, however, and I kept on writing. This time I caught her and said, “No it is not,” and I felt as though an argument would ensue.

He thought that this voice was “the soul in the primitive sense,” which he called the anima (the Latin word for soul).

He stated that “In putting down all this material for analysis, I was in effect writing letters to my anima, that is part of myself with a different viewpoint from my own.

I got remarks of a new character-I was in analysis with a ghost and a woman.”

In retrospect, he recalled that this was the voice of a Dutch patient whom he knew from 1912 to 1918, who had persuaded a psychiatrist colleague that he was a misunderstood artist.

The woman had thought that the unconscious was art, but Jung had maintained that it was nature.

I have previously argued that the woman in question-the only Dutch woman in Jung’s circle at this time-was Maria Moltzer, and that the psychiatrist in question was Jung’s friend and colleague Franz Riklin, who increasingly forsook analysis for painting.

In 1913, he became a student of Augusto Giacometti’s, the uncle of Alberto Giacometti, and an important early abstract painter in his own right. ~The Red Book, Introduction, Page 199.

Note: It is somewhat Ironic that Dr. Jung who painted such brilliant works of Art as found in “The Red Book” failed “Drawing Class” as a child.

Mathematics classes became sheer terror and torture to me. Other subjects I found easy; and as, thanks to my good visual memory, I contrived for a long while to swindle my way through mathematics, I usually had good marks.

But my fear of failure and my sense of smallness in face of the vast world around me created in me not only a dislike but a kind of silent despair which completely ruined school for me. In addition, I was exempted from drawing classes on grounds of utter incapacity.

This in a way was welcome to me, since it gave me more free time; but on the other hand it was a fresh defeat, since I had some facility in drawing, although I did not realize that it depended essentially on the way I was feeling. I could draw only what stirred my imagination.

But I was forced to copy prints of Greek gods with sightless eyes, and when that wouldn’t go properly the teacher obviously thought I needed something more naturalistic and set before me the picture of a goat’s head. This assignment I failed completely, and that was the end of my drawing classes. ~Carl Jung; Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 29

Memories Dreams Reflections A Biography by Aniela Jaffe